Well now, that didn’t take long.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told all 100 U.S. senators Thursday to raise their right hands and swear under oath to conduct “impartial justice” in the trial of Donald John Trump, president of the United States.
One of senators to swear to follow that oath is Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Except, wait! He’s said many times already that he has no intention of being impartial. McConnell said he will take his cue from Trump’s legal team.
Just hours after taking the oath, former White House ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, who served President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, accused McConnell of committing an act of perjury.
Painter went on Twitter to say McConnell has contradicted himself. “This man just swore an oath saying the exact opposite,” Painter said in a tweet. “This man is a perjurer.”
Well now. Isn’t that a crime punishable with a jail sentence?
To be fair, there are a number of senators on both sides of the aisle whose statements need careful examination. However, I believe I have seen statements only by two prominent Republicans — McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham — that have declared that the senators have made up their minds. Other senators are trying to cover their rear ends by saying they intend to listen to all arguments before making up their minds.
McConnell needs to recuse himself from this proceeding. If he cannot abide by the oath he just took, then he has no business presiding over a Senate that is going to put the president of the United States on trial.